Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ceramic Sculpture-Heather Creet.

                                    "Where am I going"  ceramic sculpture by Heather Creet

Over the years, I have always been amazed by the diverse and imaginative solutions my wife Heather Creet has created in her ceramic sculptures. She originally studied sculpture in Rome, and later studio ceramic at the National Art School, Sydney. With the decline of interest in studio ceramic, at least here in Australia, Heather has turned to hand built sculptural works, a discipline in which she has excelled. What I love most about her work is the humor and at times quirky little comments often incorporated into each piece.

Often the starting point may be a social comment on every day events, or the way people relate to each other or their pet dog. Always with  tongue in cheek and risque suggestion. Her patrons love them and are always a ready audience anxious to have their own little bit of imaginative joy.

I have selected a few piece of her work to share with you and if you experience as much pleasure from them as others have in the past, she may , if you ask nicely sell you one.

                                                 Hare Book Ends by Heather Creet.

                                                    "Treasure Chest" by Heather Creet.

                                                            "Dash" by Heather Creet.

                                                 "Lucy at the bus stop" by Heather Creet.

                                                      "Early Morning" by Heather Creet.

                                                        "Rabbit Girl" by Heather Creet.

                                                 "Looking for Love" by Heather Creet.

                                                             "Eve" by Heather Creet.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Richard Wagner, Father of Modern Music.

Over the years like many artists, I like to paint accompanied by classic music. My favourite composer has been J S Bach, mainly because I find his mathematical structure and discipline soothing, helping me decide what to do next. Anyone who has followed this blog over the years will know my artistic vision moves between different extremes. At one moment controlled and planed, at others free to run where the moment take me in an expressionist manner. Music among all the art forms has a presence that you can not ignore, unlike a painting you do not wish to engage with you may shut you eyes or turn away. This of course is not possible with Wagner, whether you like it or not his music fills the entire space wanted or not.

Years ago in my youth, I became addicted to Japanese Koto and Shakuhachi music, a sound that seems to grow on me. I would start my day with a little meditation, lying on the floor and let the sound of the koto drift over me and carry me away on a spiraling snake of smoke that wove its way ever upwards through forest and mountain imagery. This was very influential at the time as I began to hear music in visual terms, a taint that has remained over the years. Which bring me to Wagner who celebrated his 200th birthday the other day, if it is possible for him to celebrate such an event. Poor Wagner has had a lot to put up with over the years, his association with German National Socialism has not helped. Considering he died in 1883 nearly 35 years before Hitler's rise to power, it has always seemed absurd to me that in some quarters he is tared with such a  brush.  In Australia all German music was banned from being put to air on the radio during World War II, and only a few years ago the Israeli public went into melt down at the mere suggestion that a Wagner composition should be included in a concert, such it would seem is the power of music.

Wagner was interested in the grand picture and set a new course for musical composition. He liked to lead his listeners slowly into the folds and half hidden melodies of his works. A rich tapestry that at times overwhelms our senses as his music takes control of self. There seems to be no boundaries between the music and the world around us. This very quality of course is what was so attractive to later political figures, for it allowed them to move the masses on an unprecedented scale, to meld them to their will. Wagner leads us with large letters into his world that becomes our world as well, melding into one. This is what I like so much about Wagner, the sense of the grand picture the expansive vision.

This afternoon as I listened to The Flying Dutchman, Overture, a work based on his own experience in a stormy voyage on the Baltic in 1839. An experience that he felt would see the end in both his and his wife's death. Anyone who has ever experience a serious storm at sea, and I mean serious will relate to this work, the shrill of the wind in the rigging, the crushing raging strength of the waves against the ship's sides, often followed by a dreaded still moment of silence.

Music is capable of influencing our physical, mental, and emotional state in a direct way, we can not look away. Wagner has this capacity to suggest through musical forms, ideas and characteristic special to him. It has a completeness and purpose all of it's own. His music has not however always been popular, Berlioz, once suggested that Tristen und Isolde was a degenerate work, yet today it stands of one of Wagner's master composition.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What value does a First Edition Book have over copies?

I have often been puzzled by the effort and trouble collectors go to to purchase first edition copies of books.  I'm not talking about some very rare copy of the Magna Carter or such, but old books in general of which there have been many editions, and copies of which are still available in second hand book shops. After all the contents of most books, we would call literature remain the same no matter what edition you may have in your hand. The logical conclusion to such endeavors is the need for prestige by such purchasers.

 Given the ability of technology to reproduce faultless copies of just about anything, we need to question what is it in the human physic that drives people to collect first editions. Personally I have always felt that the value of any book is the content. Likewise a musical score has no value until someone brings the music to life. The false value that society bestows on such items will always remain a mystery to me. This not to say I put no valve on one off objects such as painting, but simply objects that may be reproduced infinitely.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Quoll - native cat and vampire.

                                                             Eastern Tasmanian Quoll.

Over the last few months I have experience the loss of some two dozen bantam chickens, all killed during the night or at dawn or dusk. It became rather distressing to walk down to the poultry yard each morning to see what damage had been inflicted throughout the night. At first, I thought it must be a falcon or white sea eagle taking the poultry. Sea eagles are very cleaver, they fly with flocks of white cockatoos, so they will not be noticed while looking for their next meal. But nether predator seemed quite right, as they left the body behind, taking only the head on a half chewed neck. In  the end I decided to hang a dead chicken inside a possum trap. The first two nights there was nothing, then one night surprise, surprise there was a quoll in the cage.

Quolls are a nocturnal native cat that inhabit the Tasmanian east coast, being night animals are rarely seen by humans unless you are an insomniac.There are two types, one is called a tiger cat and is very ferocious, another is smaller, olive gray in colour with white spots on the body. Very pretty,to behold or you may say beautiful to look at, there are people who try to make pets of them. Like most felines they are night owls and very dangerous. They have been known to clime trees above roosting fowl and then fall on their prey grabbing the unfortunate bird by the neck and falling to the ground with the now dead fowl. The love poultry blood, hence why I call them the vampires of the bird world. The bite across the back of the neck to extract the victim's blood. Never satisfied, they will return time and time again to a new found source of food, until all the birds have been killed. This has nothing to do with hunger pains, but just for the fun of the kill. This smaller quoll is about 45cms long with 30cm tail. I have attempted to draw the one I capture before letting the animal go as they are a protected species and must be allowed to run free. This will not of course help my attempt to keep poultry, but such is life.